Taking your driver’s test is one of the biggest and most exciting milestones in your life, but it can be one of the scariest, too. With so many rules to remember, many new drivers panic before the exam. To help you out, here are a few easy tips from dmv.org.
Practice Like Perfect
Nobody is perfect, but your driving can come pretty close. Although it can be easy to cut corners and break the rules when there’s no pressure, rolling stops and broken speed limits can quickly become bad habits. Treating every practice drive like the real test will help you perfect your skills and have confidence going into the test both key components in passing. If you know where you’ll be testing, it’s especially beneficial to practice on those roads.
Respond to Criticism
Learning to drive is nerve wracking, so having your instructor stomp on the invisible brake from the passenger seat is far from a confidence booster (Don’t worry, we’ve all been there). However, with more years of driving experience, it’s important to listen and respond to your instructor’s recommendations (even if they come in the form of holding on to the seat for dear life). As you approach the test date, ask a licensed driver to critique or grade each ride as if he or she was your test examiner. Simulating the test and all of its parts beforehand (parking, stopping, turning, changing lanes, even being critiqued) will help you feel more relaxed on the day of the test.
Know Your Car
Make sure you take your driver’s test in the car you typically drive or are most comfortable in. Just like the comfort you get wearing your favorite t-shirt, it’s the same with cars. Studying and remembering where each part of your car is and what it does is a crucial part of the test, even though it seems like the easiest. Before the test begins, it’s a good idea to already have your mirrors and seats adjusted to your needs. You should also make sure your car is up to par with all safety standards prior to the test.
Don’t Focus on Mistakes
If you make a mistake, it’s important to move on and focus on the road ahead. Concentrating on a slip up made early in the test can lead to more problems throughout the exam. This is one of the most common mistakes new drivers make. Worrying about something that already happened can’t change the outcome of the exam, but paying attention and driving carefully for the rest of it can.
Study Your Learner’s Manual
Even though you’ve already passed the written portion of your permit exam, it’s a good idea to review your learner’s manual again. Being confident in the rules of the road will give you an advantage in the practical portion and remind you of things you may have otherwise forgotten.
Don’t Bring Distractions
It might go without saying, but bringing your phone or other distractions to the exam is never a good idea. Even if you don’t plan on picking up your phone, hearing it ring or vibrate can cause you to lose focus and distract your examiner. It’s also recommended that you turn off your radio and any other devices during the exam for the same reason.
Getting your driver’s license is a big deal, and practicing safe driving is an even bigger deal. Following the rules and focusing throughout all your practices is the easiest way for you to do both.
Before you get behind the wheel, don’t forget to contact an Erie Insurance agent about the auto coverage that is right for you. There are discounts available for teen drivers if you’re on your parent’s auto policy and if you take a professional driver’s training course. Your agent will be able to walk you through these options.
There are also helpful tips for parents with soon-to-be and current teen drivers in the blog series “Bittersweet Sixteen.”